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West Ashley High Grad Returns From Overseas Deployment
10/24/2016 3:17:08 PM

Airman Wesley Brown
A 2007 West Ashley High School Graduate and Charleston, South Carolina native recently returned to the United States from an overseas deployment with the largest amphibious warship in the Navy.

Airman Wesley Brown, is a aviation boatswains mate (fueling), serving aboard USS Boxer (LHD-4), based in San Diego, California.

As aviation boatswains mate, Brown is responsible for refueling and de-fueling all of the aircraft aboard the ship, as well as providing fuel for other departments within the ship and ensuring the quality assurance of the fuel.

“The department that I work in has a real tight-knit atmosphere to it," said Brown. "The teamwork that we display, makes me enjoy my job more we are all one big family here that looks out for one another."

Boxer is an amphibious assault ship that resembles a small aircraft carrier. When deployed overseas, it is designated as the flagship of Combined Task Force 151, the international anti-piracy task force pursuing pirates off the coast of Somalia.

Boxer is famous for playing a critical role in the rescue mission of Capt. Richard Phillips on April 12, 2009. U.S. Navy SEALS and other special operations forces from USS Bainbridge (DDG 96) rescued Phillips who was later transferred to Boxer for medical evaluation and care. This successful rescue mission was portrayed in the 2103 movie, “Captain Phillips,” starring Tom Hanks, and featuring crewmembers from the USS Boxer.

The ship is armed with two semi-active radar-guided NATO Sea Sparrow missile systems (NSSMS) for anti-air warfare protection, two rolling airframe missile (RAM) systems and two Phalanx close-in weapon-system (CIWS) mounts to counter threats from low-flying aircraft and close-in small craft. It’s 844 feet long 106 feet wide, displaces more than 40,000 tons, and reaches speeds in excess of 23 miles per hour.

As a member of the U.S. Navy’s amphibious assault ship, Brown said he is proud to be part of most capable amphibious force in the world.

“Even though I sacrificed my time from my family, I get a sense of pride knowing that the sacrifices that I make defending this country, is providing security to all Americans while being able to be a role model for my sons,” said Brown.

Sailors’ jobs are highly varied at sea, according to Navy officials. More than 1,000 crewmembers keep the ship running smoothly, which includes everything from maintaining engines, handling weapons, and flying aircraft.

Serving in the Navy, Brown is learning about being a more responsible leader, and Sailor through handling numerous responsibilities. The recent deployment offered the opportunity to experience cultures from around the world.

“The Navy has taught me discipline,” said Brown. “Without order there is chaos, and the Navy has given me that order needed. A lot of the times it goes unnoticed, but the small things like time management and accountability go a long way in the grand scheme of things."

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